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La Liga: Celta de Vigo vs FC Barcelona: Key Battles

Today's match against Celta represents one of the toughest tests so far this season. Some key battles will have to be won.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Today's match against Celta represents one of the toughest tests so far this season that Luis Enrique's men will face. Celta are in great form and will go into this game full of confidence after an impressive victory over Sevilla last time out, at the fortress that is the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. After the personnel rotation in the 4-1 win against Levante, Barça will be raring to get out on the pitch to make it 5 league wins from 5 matches. No one will be taking Celta lightly after their shock 0-1 win at Camp Nou last season.

Celta are an extremely competitive side with a clear philosophy. Some key battles will have to be won in order for Barça to leave Galicia with all 3 points in the bag.

Celta's aggressive high pressing

Celta coach Eduardo Berizzo is yet another one of the disciples of Marcelo Bielsa. Needless to say, high intense pressing is a key part of his team. These tactics have proved extremely effective for Celta and Berizzo is unlikely to make any major changes against Barça. Gerard Pique's composure and ball-playing ability will be important, as will Sergio Busquets' role in being the link between defence and midfield. Nolito is on great form and has linked up well with Fabián Orellana and Iago Aspas, John Guidetti will be a source of fresh impetus off the bench and is another forward who will work his socks off and leave everything on the pitch for his team.

Successfully overcoming Celta's high press will be crucial to success in Galicia. Luis Enrique put things succinctly in his pre-match press conference - "They are games that you know, given the way they put you under pressure, are uncomfortable. The result will depend on our level. If we play as we can we will have a chance. If not, then no."

Winning the midfield battle

Celta's high press aside, their midfield has a good balance with complementary skill sets between new signing Daniel Wass, who was hugely impressive at French side Evian, Augusto Fernández and Pablo Hernández. Berizzo's midfield trio have great work ethic and are also able to manipulate and play the ball to create chances for their forwards. We will need to see the Ivan Rakitić of last season. If that happens, Busquets, Rakitić and Iniesta should have no problem in winning this midfield battle.

Overcoming the Celta press and establishing dominance in midfield would open up the weakness of Bielsa-esque teams - a vulnerable defence. Against the sublime quality of the MSN trident, with a fully-rested Luis Suárez, Barça should have enough to open Celta up and leave Balaídos with a win.

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